FIRST YOU HAVE TO ROW A LITTLE BOAT!

“To tack a boat, to sail a zig-zag course is not to deny our destiny or our destination-
despite how it may appear to those who never dare to take the tiller in their hand.
Just the opposite: it’s to recognize the obstacles that stand between ourselves and
where we want to go and then maneuver with patience and fortitude, making the most
of each leg of our journey until we reach our landfall. “ -Richard Bode

I love sailing! It’s exhilarating; that distinctive salty sea air and water mist on my face, causes me to be alert and wide awake. You never know when the wind will change and you must ready yourself. Like the game of life, we are here for the joy of it and must know how to play it.

When the sails start to luff, you must head into the wind, tighten your angle to move forward. Obstacles are merely challenges so you can use your head to maneuver onward. You learn to welcome the unexpected because the unpredictable offers you novel ways to find solutions to life’s problems. In the process of sailing, you become confident working your magic: building your ability to be clever and use skillful actions to adapt, improve, improvise!

Can your child “roll with the punches” and “go with the flow”?

You don’t need to be in a sailing boat to practice. These are positive, mental attitudes and I can show you how you foster your youngster’s use of inspiration and innovation and how to encourage him to “take off” and “trust”. But first you have to row a little boat– which means, you begin with the self-disciple required for centering yourself, calming yourself no matter what is happening in the world around you or within you.

Here are 5 steps for steady progress:

1. Practice Relaxation

The most important skill we can teach our child is how to calm and settle himself. But you can’t teach what you do not know for yourself. So begin by taking back the afternoon and just rest together. Turn off cell phones, put away mobile devices and turn on your child’s smiles. Sit together on a back yard swing, relax in a hammock or just flop on the sofa long enough to quiet your nervous system by breathing rhythmically. Four counts, breathe in; six counts breathe out

2. Stay Present

Bring your attention to the present moment. In this moment all is well. Feel the peace that is always there which the rush of the day tried to hide. Using a guided imagery audio or music combined with rhythmic breathing is an effective method for keeping your attention on the present moment. When you develop the capacity to be aware of your mind/body system slowing down, you find your peace. Remember, emotions go to every cell in your body so choose health.

Pay attention to opportunities that present themselves disguised as disappointments, despair or detours. These “problem emotions” give birth to innovation, perseverance and adaptability.

3. Be Patient

Practice holding on to peace rather than becoming impatient or uncomfortable with the slowed down pace. Sometimes it may feel like you have to move or talk or you’ll jump out of your skin! The more you can become focused, the more you can cultivate the passive attitude of relaxation and the more you can be gentle with yourself.

4. Welcome the Unexpected

When you welcome the unexpected, you open your mind to the power within you, so you can maneuver yourself forward and not collapse in a heap of discomfort. When you welcome the unexpected, you begin to think more creatively to find solutions rather than stay stuck in old assumptions, such as, this thing happened to me and therefore I should be crushed! When you welcome the unexpected, you practice using your mind in a special manner that make new nerve endings connect causing you to come up with even more possibilities than ever before.

5. Be Determined

Never give up on yourself. Make the most of each leg of your journey until you make your landfall using your skillful action to adapt, improve and improvise.

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